The United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) on November 25 launched a new campaign that is covering 16 days of activism featuring 16 women working to counteract domestic abuse in a call to end gender-based violence. The campaign was kicked off with a chilling and powerful new video titled “Reversing The Trend” that shows a battered woman reversing the painful effects of domestic violence. The clip opens with a close-up shot of a woman with a bruise covering her right eye, blood slowly dripping from her left nostril, her lip bruised and broken. The next sixty seconds of footage features time-lapse photography played in reverse, as the woman undoes the wounds shown on her face.
The woman depicted in the video is Palestinian artist and activist Rand Jarallah, who is known for using her face as a canvas to draw attention to social issues. For this video, all of the wounds were created using makeup. “Makeup can be used as a form of art to empower people, because, you know what, art is unlimited — and so is our creativity.” Jarallah is one of the women profiled in the series. The campaign, which is using the hashtags #16voices and #16days to spread the word on social media, also highlights some grim statistics on gender-based violence. One in three women globally experiences some form of sexual or intimate partner violence, according to the UNPFA, which includes child marriage and female genital mutilation among those figures.
The video was released at nearly the same time that a TV channel in Morocco aired a segment on how to use makeup to cover up signs of domestic abuse. The segment sparked widespread outrage and the TV channel has now apologized for having aired it. The UNPFA says domestic violence is one of the world’s most prevalent human rights violations.
See all 16 heroes and learn more about the campaign at the United Nations Population Fund’s 16 Voices For Change.